Citadel Delve pt. 23

The Dark Fey

Lorawyn, following the trail of blood with her eyes, then begins to pay attention to her other senses. To touch, to smell, to heat, and to her connection to the Feyweave. Looking harder at the gel pools about the room she senses fear and darkness, but a twinge of something familiar. The Feyweave struggles to flow near these portals, but still trickles from them. A sudden realisation dawns; the fungus, the gelatinous puddles, the stringy growths, the strange flow of magic: these are portals to a Fey Realm! The three large puddles must be the portals, and the fungal growths are simply the material plane of existence reacting to the realms touching like this. They are likely benign.

Without thinking further, Lorawyn chased the trail of blood into what she was certain was a portal to another realm, a realm where injured and lost Elves may be being harmed further. She had to help.

Nix sees Lorawyn dash through the string fungi and into a gel puddle, the substance shifting and molding itself around her as she sinks into it. Eventually, she’s gone. “I knew it. I just don’t know what sort of effect this might have on a person. And this might be leading us very astray.” She looks worriedly at her compatriots. “I suspect this to lead to a darker version of the Fey realm.” Jila looks confused, looking to Talison, urging him to move on and leave this folley. Talison turns back to Nix, her leadership beginning to outshine even the military commander. Nix continues “Let me go after her. If I’m not back soon, don’t follow me. I just plan on going in and back through. Otherwise it might be best to just go around this altogether.” And with that, she stands up straight and bolts for the portal, leaping wholly into it in one move.

Darrin and Talison look at each other for a moment, before Talison realises, shakes his head and looks back to the portal. Darrin slowly turns his head back to the portal. Both look on in silence for a beat before breaking into a run and both gunning for the portal, one after another jumping into it and getting almost sucked in by the gloopy gelatinous substance.

It’s sharply cold in the gel. Darkness envelopes you as you stop being able to breathe, all noise, sight and sense of direction being drowned out by the slick slurping of the substance all around you. The cold numbs you and you lose feeling in your arms and legs. After a moment, you find the noise subsides and you are left all alone in the dark.

Lorawyn opens her eyes and she’s on the ground, a short and sharp grass covering the ground. Feeling nauseous and exhausted, she tries to catch her breath and looks around. The air is thick, soupy, and very cold. Spending too long here could harm an unprotected person. There is no breeze, but there is a strange smoke or steam everywhere, making seeing more than a few feet nearly impossible. The portal is behind her, growing on a crumbling free-standing wall that doesn’t seem at all like the walls of the citadel complex she was just in. There are bushes and other foliage around, and ahead is a weeping willow tree, its branches forming a wide curtain. The heavy and booming sounds of clacking, screaming, heavy breathing, birdsong and insect chitter fills her ears and presses against her. Standing up, nursing her head as she does, her senses assaulted by this world, she staggers forward and pulls aside the curtain of willow, hoping to see how she can save whatever poor soul is screaming just beyond it.

Nix appears next to Lorawyn, looking similarly impacted by her journey. Darrin and Talison are both ejected by the portal, shivering and struggling to breathe for a moment before spotting Nix and Lorawyn. Stalking up beside them, they all peer behind the willow curtain. Inside is a slightly clearer patch of air, as it looks like a huge willow tree spanning thirty feet; near the centre stand two hunched pale insectoid critters in front of a harness made of branches, moss and vines. Wudmirk lies strapped to it, with a superbly tall woman standing behind him, her hand on his neck looking like it’s seeping into his skin. The woman has pointed features, a large hooked nose, a pointed chin, small black pearls for eyes and wiry black long hair. She stands around nine feet tall, and her black dress hides all but her pale face. Wudmirk is screaming loudly, his voice cracking into higher and higher octaves, the screeching broken up by gurgles and clicks as his tongue begins to stretch forward and become pale, splitting into several tin tendrils. His cheeks creep forward under his skin, his teeth splitting and falling out, the blood spilling onto his collar. Wudmirk strains his head to look down at his hands only to widen his darkening eyes as he sees his fingers start fusing together, the bones in his thumbs ripping through the skin as they elongate and curve.

Nix grabs Lorawyn by the wrist and dashes for the portal, dragging them both through it. Darrin and Talison both turn to look for Nix and Lorawyn, but they’re gone. However, they do see Korik emerge from the portal, shivering and confused.

As Nix and Lorawyn emerge from the portal back in the citadel, Adrik is examining the ceiling calmly while Jila, Simon and Bennet all breathe a heavy sigh of relief upon seeing them.

What do you do?

Lorawyn has 1 level of exhaustion, meaning she has disadvantage on all ability checks. This does not include saves or attacks.

Talison has 1 level of exhaustion (from the water tunnel, not the portal), meaning he has disadvantage on all ability checks. This does not include saves or attacks.

Korik +20XP
Talison +30XP
Nix +40XP
Darrin +20XP
Lorawyn +40XP
Adrik +10XP



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